FOXTROTS

Fox – sly.  Trots – left-leaning (Trotsky) plus its more insalubrious meaning. 

Foxtrots – leading the industry in a dance.

2010 March 17

 

Soccer Cup. South Africa’s goals.

 

S

occer’s FIFA World Cup – scheduled for South Africa starting June 2010 – is now generally accepted as the world’s biggest sporting event after the Summer Olympic Games.

South Africa Tourism was expecting around 450,000 overseas visitors to attend the event, which starts in June 11. SAT has apparently not estimated how many would-be visitors will not visit at that time, because of expected disruption, higher prices, etc; I estimate 100-150,000.

But the football association has now said that the number of visitors will not reach expectations, and that only 2.2mn of the 2.9mn match tickets have been sold so far. As a result, it plans to sell more at the cheaper local prices (many of which will probably then be sold on to visitors at higher prices).

The association did allocated 11% of the tickets to the local category, but now expects this will be 20%. I am not clear on my maths, but I believe this means a growth from 320,000 cheap tickets to 580,000.

And what will happen to South Africa’s visitor numbers? Growth has been falling over recent years – after 13.9% in 2006, it was 8.3% in 2007, then 5.5% in 2008, and then about 5% in 2009.

SAT was hoping two other sporting events earlier this year would have helped to reverse the slowdown, but a strengthening rand may slow growth (US$1 bought R10 at end-2008 but only R7.60 end-2009). But it seems a non-sporting macro-event – the broadly-improving world economies – is causing better growth.

But because of that loss of the regular tourist flow, there is a real chance that growth will still be around 5% for this year.

 

 

The Fox